The Cayman Islands Flag, the official ensign, was adopted in 1959, shortly after the Coat of Arms was adopted. There are two versions of the flag - the blue for use on land and the red for use at sea. These are based on the British blue and red ensigns. The land flag has a dark blue field (background), with the "Union" in the corner nearest to the flagstaff. The national arms are shown in a roundel, which is a white circle in the centre of the field. The flag for use at sea has a red field, but everything else is identical. In 1706, the British Union flag combined the English red cross of St. George with the Scottish white cross of St. Andrew. The Irish red cross of St. Patrick was added in 1801.
As the country's national ensign, the flag should always be treated with the due respect and deference which any such national symbol deserves. This includes not flying it at night or in inclement weather, not allowing it to touch the ground, and using it for any purpose other than a flag.
National flags should be raised quickly and lowered slowly.
Flags should not be hung or displayed vertically. Faded or damaged flags should not be flown, but instead should be destroyed, preferably by burning. Flags may only be flown at half-mask if there is an official declaration to that effect.
The proper flag to fly on land in the Cayman Islands is the blue one, as described. However, since this is a British overseas territory, the British flag (the Union Jack, also known as the Union Flag) may be flown if desired. If both are flown, the Union Jack should be in the superior position.
When two or more flagstaffs are at the same level on a building, the superior one is to the left, when viewing the building from the outside. On a flagstaff with a yardarm, the left limb is superior to the right, and the top position is superior to both. Foreign flags should only be flown with either the Cayman Islands flag or the Union Jack in the superior position.
The Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom, should be flown correctly. This can be indicated by the placement of the white diagonal cross, and the red diagonal cross which runs through its centre. When the flag is in the proper position, at the top left corner the wider white band is shown above, and the narrower white band is below.
Personal or company flags may be flown alone. However, if flown with the Cayman Islands flag or the Union Jack, the latter must be in the superior position.
No two national flags are to be flown one above the other on a single staff. If only one flagstaff is available, the two flags must be bent onto the halyard at the same point, so that they fly side-by-side. Flags used as a national symbol at public events may be flown or displayed in the background. However, they should not be hung or draped from the front of the podium or head table, or used as bunting. Instead, appropriately coloured material should be used for these purposes.
At funerals, flags may be draped over caskets, but removed and folded before burial, if the deceased person had been in military service or has been appropriately employed in government service.
At sea, Cayman-registered vessels should fly the red Cayman ensign. Foreign vessels should fly this flag as a courtesy when in Cayman waters.
A national flag flown upside down is a sign of distress.
Last Updated: 2005-07-11